Collision when emerging from minor road to major road whos at fault?

  • TimG's Avatar
    Hi All,

    Today I had a collision when emerging from a minor road (I was turning right onto a major road.

    Normally I would expect and understand that this would be my fault as I was the one merging onto the major road however its a little bit more complicated.

    I approached the give way line markings and stopped, once a few cars had passed in front of me there were 2/3 cars turning left from the main road into the minor road I was emerging from. as this is a notorious road to try to get out onto, I pulled forward carefully into the road and stopped waiting for the other lane to become safe to enter (similar to peep and creep) the road has a central lane for other cars approaching the Junction from the other direction to filter and turn I has stopped slightly before this. central lane)

    I was looking left to see when it was clear and not checking to my right as I was already committed and established in the road as turning right. when I noticed it was clear I started to accelerate to move over into the other lane, just when I had started to accelerate I saw a flash of black from the tight and hit my brakes but Unfortunately I collided with the front side of a van.

    As I say normally I would expert to be at fault for this but when I pulled forward i had moved maybe half a meter before I collided with the van & they had clearly fully entered the filter reservation from the wrong direction in an attempt to get around me sooner. however I wouldn't expect to be checking my right s I was already established in the road and committed to the turn in a safe manor.

    Luckily I have full Dash camera footage of the incident to show I was across the lane and had barely moved before the collision happened and the other driver is clearly fully in the central 'filter' reservation going the wrong way.

    here is my rough drawing of the scene it happened

    Would my insurance company class me at fault even though I followed the rules of the road and preceded with full caution aside from checking the right side even though I was fully established in the road?
  • 4 Replies

  • Best Answer

    TC1474's Avatar
    Best Answer
    Sorry to say, strict liability applies in that whilst I understand what you are saying, it will be deemed that you still failed to accord precedence to traffic on the major carriageway and you also failed to comply with the "Give Way" at the mouth of the junction.

    One of my colleagues had an identical crash last year in virtually identical circumstances and he was held 100% liable by the insurers despite me being able to prove that the speed of the third party was excessive for the location an despite my colleague being in the view of the third party for over 6 seconds, and despite the fact that the third party failed to even start to slow down because he was distracted by his passenger (allegedly), the front of our bus was ripped off and written off because of the speed, my colleague was still held liable.

    Also bear in mind (and I have no idea if they attended) but the Police would also have the option of reporting you for the offences of failing to comply with an obligatory traffic sign (The Give Way) and careless driving.

    You may have mitigation, but the insurers are not really interested, because of strict liability.

  • TimG's Avatar
    @TC1474 thanks for your response, I understand what you are saying.

    I've always been under the impression that if you are at a give way sign and someone allows you out or there is a gap in traffic from the right then you should pull out sand establish yourself safely up to the median line as to not hold up traffic behind you.

    FRom my dash camera footage, from the moment of exiting at the give way sign to stopping at the median filter line to then accelerating was 10 seconds.

    Assuming (worst case) that he was traveling at 40 miles an hour he would have had 178m to see and slow down or stop. That being said, the traffic on the right was slow moving and traffic was filtering into the minor road I was on leaving a big enough time gap for me to safely pull out.

    Surely purposefully swerving around somone in the road due to impaciance or whatever reason and entering a central filter median from the wrong way would be classed as at least driving without due care and attention or dangeous driving as someone could have been turning into that lane which would have caused a head on collision.
  • TC1474's Avatar
    @TC1474 thanks for your response, I understand what you are saying.

    I've always been under the impression that if you are at a give way sign and someone allows you out or there is a gap in traffic from the right then you should pull out sand establish yourself safely up to the median line as to not hold up traffic behind you.

    I don't know where you got that idea from, but wherever it came from I am sorry to say that you have been misinformed.

    Traffic on the major carriageway always has priority, and drivers emerging from the minor junction are always obliged to give precedence to traffic on the major road.

    If another driver allows you out, then that driver can be convicted of careless driving (which I know will surprise some people) and it in no way exonerates the driver pulling out because the offence is still complete.

    The driver allowing a vehicle out of the minor road has been known to be held partially liable in such crashes, but primary liability still lies with you.

    As I have already explained, I have recently dealt with an identical crash involving one of my colleagues and as far as the insurers are concerned, they are not interested in time gaps, speeds of other vehicles or anything else, they will only look at the fact that you pulled out into the major carriageway and were the primary cause of the collision.

    I know its not what you want to read, but that is how civil litigation works because the other side only has to work on the balance of probability of 51% or better and not beyond all reasonable doubt.

    You can of course try and use the argument that you have used here, but you will be the first person in 45 years of traffic law enforcement and crash investigation of about 9,000 crashes that I will have come across this defence being successful.
  • TimG's Avatar

    Sorry for the delayed response & thank you for the honesty.

    I just wanted to confirm that I received confirmation from my insurer, the third party insurer have admitted liability for this collision, hopefully I'll get more details soon so I can give you better information for this result.

    Thanks again!